June 1st, International Children's Day in the US

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   International Children’s Day evolved from the 1925 “World Conference for the Well Being of Children” held in Geneva, Switzerland. Attended by representatives from 54 countries, the conference passed the “Geneva Declaration Protecting Children”, which focused on poverty, prevention of child labor, education and other issues related to the welfare of children around the world. After the conference, various governments around the world designated a day as Children’s Day, to encourage and bring joy to children as well as to draw the attention of society to children’s issues. 
   June 1st is the most popular day, as celebrated in over 21countries. Children’s Day was first celebrated in the United States in San Francisco in 1925.
The Collection - May 2005 (excerpt)

(....) The International Children's Day (ICD) festivities actually begin on May 17, when students from Jefferson School will present the Mayor and Council with artwork during the televised Common Council meeting at City Hall. Mayor Jordan Glatt will officialy proclaim International  Children's Day and announce Knoxville, TN as Summit's sister city in celebrating the day. On May 26 at 10:00AM, Jefferson School fourth-graders will sing the ICD song, "Our Day, Children's Day," at the Summit public school's Memorial Day ceremonies. The song, the title piece from a CD, was writen and composed by Margareta Paslaru-Sencovici, who brought the ICD celebration to Summit in 2001. (...)  Diane Klaif and Carole Papale, planning this year's event, said, "Summit owes a great debt of gratitude to Margareta Paslaru-Sencovici, TV36 Producer and Creative Director, for her inspiration and many hours of work to make ICD happen in Summit. As the founder and now Chair Emeritus of International Children's Day, her dedication to making this great event a reality now makes it possible for us to be holding our fifth celebration!"
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Summit Herald - August 14, 2004

MUSIC CAMPERS - This summer, the Summit Recreation Center hosted its first    International Children's Day Music Camp for beginners. Under the guidance of Clancy Lubrano, children learned to play the recorder and to read music. Then they performed new songs in a recital for parents. TV36 producer Margaret Paslaru Sencovici founded the camp with proceeds from her CD, "Our Day, Children's Day". Scotti's Music Shop sold the CDs, and funds were distributed through the Summit Area Public Foundation.

"Our Day, Children's Day"
Music & Lyrics: Margareta Paslaru

"Every day, is Children's Day"
They say...
But once a year, we want
Like Mother's Day, Father's Day
Grandparent's Day...
...Our Day, our Day,
We are the future!

Raise your flag right now
Europe, Asia, Africa
Wave your flag right now
Australia, South America
Think about each other, right now!
Listen...is peace...
The world is safe with us'

"Every Day, is Children's Day"
For some...
But many children are suffering
Let's help them, let's heal them,
United in spirit
Is our Day, our Day,
We are the future!

Standing on the steps of City Hall in San Francisco
Mayor Willie L. Brown Jr., Summit resident Margareta
Paslaru and fifth-graders from San Francisco's Tenderloin
School. Students from both the Tenderloin School
and Washington School in Summit are helping Paslaru
make June 1st., International Children's Day.
Paslaru is receiving the proclamation.

Summit Observer - June 3, 2004 (excerpts)

Children's Day artwork stresses global message of peace, joy
(By Joan M. Devlin, Staff Writer)

Summit once again shared International Children's Day - June 1 - with the rest of international communities.All children participating were about 10 to 11 years old - fourth graders - but their wisdom was beyond their years. Allowed to pick any topic for their drawings, the universal theme turned out to be about peace. Most moving of all was the art from Pakistan. One drawing of planes and guns and flaring rockets said, "War is not the answer." (...) Dignitaries from Summit all came to the Recreation Center, and proclamation were read, as is the custom each year. Former Mayor Walter Long, chairman of this year's Children's Day, gave the introduction and commended on the very special tone of the children's simple drawings. He then introduced current Mayor Jordan Glatt.
   "This is a great day and the fourth time Summit has celebrated International Children's Day, thanks to Margareta Paslaru, co-chair, who brought Summit into international celebration," said Glatt. Paslaru was busy filming the festivities for Cable Channel 36, where she is a producer. Glatt then introduced a special guest who had come to Summit to share the occasion. He was the mayor of Bernards Township, Mohamed Ali Chaudry, the first and only Pakistani-American mayor in the entire country. (...) Chaudry noted one of the paintings hanging on the wall behind him."See, this one says something very wise. It says "The new generation prefers peace." I, too, believe in peace, and I believe it begins with each one of us, and then it can grow. With their pure hearts, children express it best." (...)
   Glatt noted there were more than 14 states that had sent proclamations, which were hung on a separate wall. " This is a tribute to Margareta who brought it all together. The element of truth is in this art work. Let us look at this with the children's eyes." Recreation Center Director Romayne Eaker-Kelly made the rest of the center available for children. (...)
The theme did carry over to the Common Council meeting later that evening, as a large group of Franklin School fourth-graders performed the theme song, written by Paslaru, "Our Day, Children's Day" and other patriotic songs. Art work was on display on every pole in the Council Chambers as well, all from the United Kingdom, Romania, India, Israel, Washington DC, Knoxville, Tenn., as well as the art exchange schools in Atlanta, GA.

The Independent Press - Wednesday, May 26, 2004 (excerpts)
By Liz Keill

International Children's Day funds a summer music camp set for July

During July, a music camp for children will be held at the Recreation Center, Recreation Director Romayne Eaker-Kelly confirmed. "Once this is off the ground, we hope to offer the music camp every year," the director said. "The program is designed for children who have never had music lessons, and it's exciting that art and music are combined." Space is limited and registration flyers will be distributed through the schools(...) The camp teacher is Clancy Lubrano of Summit, a retired New York City music teacher.  Proceeds from CD sales of "Our Day, Children's Day" will be donated to a fund for the camp, Ms. Eaker Kelly said. The CD was released in 2002 by "M"Soul Productions. Co-Chair of the International event in Summit, Margareta Paslaru-Sencovici, wrote the song. (...) Ms. Paslaru gave credit to Summit resident Carole Papale for her assistance with the project.


The Summit Collection - May 2004

During a Romanian television special, Margareta Paslaru Sencovici, is surprised with a gift of art, for American children, in honor of International Children's Day

Summit Observer - May 27, 2004

It's the changing of the guard for schools board (excerpt)

Summit Middle School hosted the Board of Education's annual reorganization meeting May 20, with music by the Summit school students. (....) Doing the honors was board member Gerardo Navia, together  with Bushes, distributing resolutions of recognition to many people present. This year, some of the presentations were quite unique. Margareta Paslaru of "M"Soul Productions received one for producing TV36 cable shows in all of the schools as part of her "Human Mosaics" show about the public schools. Also, the award was for taping the district's All Music Masters, airing on "Summit's Rhapsody" this month. Paslaru also heads the International Children's Day efforts in Summit, bringing recognition to students in the celebration. "
You have brought culture, art, music, and good will into our community and shared your talents and spirit with all of us; thank you," said Navia.

SUMMIT OBSERVER -Thursday, May 20, 2004
By Joan M. Devlin - Staff Writer

Children's Day gets under way (excerpts)

Although June 1st has been celebrated as International Children's Day all over the world since 1925, this is only the fourth year will be celebrated in Summit. Through the efforts of Margareta Paslaru of "M"Soul Productions, once again children are finishing up their art projects and preparing for the event. This year, fourth-graders from Franklin Elementary School are chosen as the host school, and will have an art exchange with fourth - grade children from Grove Park Elementary School in Atlanta.
Mayor Shirley Franklin of Atlanta has already made a proclamation and pieces of art are being finished and will be sent here for display of art/ Now Summit and Atlanta have become "sister cities" in this event. Each year, Summit's Mayor issues a proclamation and Mayor Jordan Glatt did so at the May 4 Common Council meeting. Both Glatt and Franklin in Atlanta have also been honorary chairpersons, while former mayor of Summit, Walter Long, is chairman of the event. Paslaru will serve as co-chairwoman and advisory.
Paslaru, who works with TV-36, will also be videotaping the event for her show, "Human Mosaics". Music is a large part of this day honoring children, and the theme song, "Our Day, Children's Day" with words and music written by Paslaru, will be performed by fourth-grade children from Franklin School. The conductor will be Marilyn Casale-Lee of Summit Music Education Department (...)The sister cities for Summit children in 2001 were San Francisco, and 2002, Washington, D.C. Through the efforts of former Councilwoman Joyce Margie and Long, more than 20 state governors have also joined in issuing proclamations about this special day to be set aside.

In 2002, "M"Soul Productions released a compact disc of "Our Day, Children's Day" with children from Summit singing songs in 15 different languages, Now, all proceeds from this continued sale of the CD are being donated to the music camp fund by Paslaru, and the music camp is to be held in July at the Recreation Center.  Ceremonies begin at the Recreation Center on June 1st at 3:30p.m. with opening comments by Glatt and Long, who will offer a message of peace and friendship between the children of the world. Guiding the children with their art projects at Franklin School is art teacher, Mary Bruns, together with museum curator Sheila Stone, from NJCVA. Stone has assembled a retrospective of children's art works from the United Kingdom, Egypt, Romania, Israel, India and Pakistan. (...)

An international performer and singer herself, Paslaru says of the influence of music on children," I believe music follows us from the moment we are born to the moment we die, from joy to sorrow, and from a mother's lullaby to hymns at funerals" Her song is light and easy to learn, and stresses the importance of each child's individual worth. (...) "I am so excited," said Recreation Director Romayne Eaker-Kelly. "We are thrilled to be able to share our building for this annual event." We are now going to make kites that day, we will take them outside. The art work was starting to come in from all over by Friday, and helping to hang the pictures were Carole Papale, the TV36 liaison for Children's Day, as well as Paslaru, and Stone. There will be  hundreds of displays on children's art by June 1st.


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Summit's sister cities on June 1st. International Children's Day

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San Francisco 2001-2002

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Washington DC 2002-2003

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Atlanta 2004

Summit Observer, Echo Leader
Thursday, April 1, 2004

Legislators, volunteers help  give Children's Day jump start

At the kick-of event to the International Children's Day celebration, planed for June 1, organizers and participants gathered to discuss their plans. From rear left are Margarita Paslaru of Summit, Michael Knowlton, superintendent of schools; former Councilwoman Joyce Margie and Franklin School Principal Sheila  Cole.  From front left are Sen. Thomas Kean Jr. and Assemblymen Jon Bramnick and Eric Munoz.

SUMMIT OBSERVER - ECHO LEADER, Thursday, March 18, 2004

Conference prepares for "Children's Day"

Sen. Thomas Kean Jr., Assemblyman Eric Munoz, M.D., and Assemblyman Jon Bramnick announced  they will kick off the International Children's Day Celebration for the 21st  legislative district March 25  with workshop for mayors, school board members, superintendents of schools and their representatives.

Sen. Kean noted, " In many other parts of the world, International Children's Day is a joyous celebration  of childhood." The holiday evolved from the 1925 "World Conference for the Well-Being of Children" held in Geneva. During the conference, delegates from 54 countries debated at length and adopted a document known as the "Geneva Declaration Protecting Children". "The issues discussed in 1925 focused on poverty, prevention of child labor, education, and other issues related to the welfare of children," said Kean. "Many of the same issues still hold true in the state of  New Jersey today."

Three years ago, Summit resident Margareta Paslaru, who remembered celebrating Children's Day  as a child in Romania, urged the mayor and Common Council to declare June 1 in Summit as "International Children's Day." Describing the importance of this celebration, Paslaru said, "The way we are raising the children today is the same way they are going to lead us tomorrow."
"For the past three years, special celebrations have been held throughout the City of Summit, said Assemblyman Munoz. The Summit program serves as the model for the state. I am proud that we are expanding the program to include all municipalities in the 21st district." "As representative of  the 21st legislative district we are encouraging the municipalities we represent to participate in the  celebration of children - our own as well as all the children of the world," said Assemblyman Bramnick. " This celebration of children will unify all of our communities."

Representatives Kean, Munoz and Bramnick will conduct an art exchange among fourth-grade students  from elementary schools located in the 21st legislative district. Selected artwork will be submitted by the participating elementary schools and showcased the last week of May at the Statehouse in Trenton. "I am grateful that our legislators have taken a genuine interest in our program and are sponsoring one  at a higher level," said Joyce Margie, former council member and coordinator of Summit's program.  "This is truly an honor for us." The March 25 workshop will be held in Summit City's Council Chambers located on 512 Springfield Ave. in Summit. The program is scheduled for 8:30a.m. and will conclude  by 10 a.m. Individuals interested in participating in the 21st district program should contact their local mayor, school board president or superintendent of schools.

Summit Observer - Wednesday, December 31, 2003

2003 showed city traditions continue as changes made headlines (excerpt)

By Joan M. Devlin - Staff Writer

(...) With June came International Children's Day, once again celebrated with children's art at the New Jersey Center for Visual Arts. This was attended by its organizer, Margareta Paslaru, co-chairwoman Joyce Margie, a councilwoman: Mayor Walter Long, and other dignitaries. The New Jersey Secretary of State Regina Thomas even came to mark the importance of the event, which is celebrated internationally on June 1. (...)

The Summit Collection - July 2003

NJ Secretary of State, Regina Thomas, reads Governor Mc.Greevey's official proclamation declaring June 1st as International Children's Day. Looking on (L-R) are Summit's Mayor Walter D. Long and Co-Chair Margareta Paslaru-Sencovici

21 songs from around the world dedicated to June 1st International Children's Day. 
Among them,  the title song "Our Day, Children's Day" was composed by Margareta Paslaru.

The CDs are available at Scotti's Music Shops in: Summit, Madison, Gillette, Morristown, for $10.
Proceeds are donated to Music Camp Fund for the needy children, through Summit Area Public Foundation.

LUMEA LIBERA - New York - 6 Iunie - 2003


Aflam dintr-o corespondenta sosita la redactie, ca actiunea
initiata de Fundatia "Principesa Margareta a Romaniei" de a organiza o sarbatoare a copiilor in dimineata zilei de 1 iunie,
la Bucuresti, s-a bucurat de un deosebit succes.
(...) Deschizand ceremonia, A.S.R. Principesa Margareta a spus: "Azi, de ziua celor mici, la palatul Elisabeta, 45 de copii auconstruit POARTA COPILARIEI. Invit pe toti cei mari sa
treaca prin ea spre Taramul Copiilor, o lume in care pot fi
intalnite dreptul la viata, la educatie, la asistenta medicala,
la ocrotire parinteasca, la joc si fericire. Va invit sa ne urmati!"
(...) Reamintim ca in USA cunoscuta solista ( si astazi,
de asemenea, reputata activista culturala si teleasta in statul NJ) d-na Margareta Paslaru a inceput si sustine o viguroasa actiune pentru reintroducerea - la nivel federal - a sarbatoririi Zilei Internationale a Copilului, manifestare care a fost initiata intre cele doua Razboaie Mondiale, la San Francisco, in Statele Unite. 

Margareta Paslaru, the organizer of Summit's Children's Day celebration, gets a special honor from Mayor Long, right, and a gift from the event's co-chairwoman Joyce Margie, pictured, and P. Kelly Hatfield. The ceremony took place at the New Jersey Center for Visual Arts on Friday










SUMMIT OBSERVER - Thursday, June 5, 2003

Looking through children's eyes

By Joan M. Devlin
Staff Writer

Except for one torrential burst of rain, the International Children's Day Art Exchange at the New Jersey Center of Visual Arts came off on Friday as a big success. The center was already packed with people, enjoying art and refreshments before the showers came, including the mayor and all the council members, as well as Brayton School children and others who were there to view the art exhibit.(...)
Curator and hostess at NJCVA Sheila Stone welcomed arriving visitors and Margareta Paslaru, originator of Children's Day in Summit, was filming for Channel 36 and also greeting people before everything began. The art exhibit was global once again, including selections of children's art from Janney Elementary School in Washington, D.C., Summit's 2003 " "sister city" school this year, as well as works from England, Israel, India and Romania. Stone said, "There are 258 works of art from these children, all in the general age of 9,10 and 11, with several themes." (...)
Most of the work glowed with bright color, and reflected upbeat and happy scenes. But there was one dramatic exception - the art from the children in Jerusalem. Sadly, the art there reflected what the children are living through: war. There were shocking pictures of bombs going off, flares exploding, walled fortresses and people with guns. One had a banner read "No more war." The curator said, "This was a shocker for us, but no surprise; this is what these children are surrounded with in Israel today."
The theme of love and friendship was evident in the London exhibit, but there was also a graphic drawing of a huge umbrella, depicting the British climate, as well as several well-drawn castles.
The Romanian exhibit was more mature, as children were just a bit older: fifth-and sixth-graders. Colors were bright with fruit and flowers as a theme, with people outside in gardens in beautifully drawn nature scenes.
The art from India showed children celebrating International Children's Day with banners and songs. Celebration was evident and the pictures were happy and positive. (...)

At 3:30 p.m., Vice Chairman of NJCVA and member of the Board of Trustees, Roland Weiser introduced the president of NJCVA, Eric Pryor, who stated that this year's exhibit was just as impressive as last year's. "The 258 works of art are an amazing representation of art work from all over the world. It is full of honesty and truth - such as the Israeli exhibit - and is what makes children so wonderful." He thanked Stone and Paslaru for the amount of work done on behalf of International Children's Day and then introduced Mayor Walter Long.(...)
Long especially honored Paslaru saying, "Until three years ago, this special day was never really recognized but thank to this woman who has given hours and hours of time, we now celebrate it."
Co-Chairwomen of the event, Councilwomen P.Kelly Hatfield and Joyce Margie, were also asked to come forward, and together they presented a gift to Paslaru.
"More than ever, when violence and war are taking place, we should all reflect about ourselves, and about our children, and how precious they are; this is about them,"Paslaru said.
Actually, June 1st is the international date for this event, but because this year, it fell on Sunday, Friday began the event. But there was more to come.
On the actual day, the New Jersey Secretary of State, Regina L. Thomas, had promised to be a special guest at YMCA for more children's Day events. She kept her word, and was there to greet children and families who were at the Y that morning.


The Independent Press - May 21, 2003


By Liz Keill

SUMMIT - Now in its third year, International Children's Day will be hosted at the Summit Area YMCA, 67 Maple St., on Sunday, June 1st. This year, Brayton Elementary School at the corner of Tulip Street and Ashland Road has been designated to represent the fourth grade. Principal Cheryl Moretz said, "It should be very exciting." A school poster contest\ produced a winner, Joe Weils, whose design of a tree of life represents the connection among all people. The founder of the International Children's Day in Summit, Margaret Paslaru, said in an interview, "Children see the world through such innocent eyes. Their drawings are wonderful, with doves and messages of peace and people holding hands. It's amazing how creative children are." Ms. Paslaru said she sees children of the world as building "bridges of friendship". A cornucopia of activities include art, music, sport and games, all designed for families and children. At 10 a.m. Friday, May 30, the Brayton School Chorus will perform "Our Day, Children's Day" during the Summit public's Memorial Day ceremonies on the Village Grenn. The song was written by Ms. Paslaru.

At 3:30pm that day, opening festivities of the International Children's Day Art Exchange will be held at NJCVA. The Global exhibition includes selections of children's art from the Janney Elementary School in Washington, D.C. Summit's "sister city" for 2003. Ms. Paslaru said Kathy Keenan a parent at Janney Elementary, has stepped forward as chairwoman of the Washington event. On the global front, children's art from London, England; Calcutta, India; Jerusalem, Israel; and Transylvania, Romania; will be displayed. An added flourish this year was a recent visit from The Reverend Alpar Kiss of Transylvania. According to a member of The Unitarian Church in Summit, Rev. Kiss had been a fan of Ms. Paslaru's when she was an artist and performer in Romania. When he arrived in Summit, he brought 10 children's drawings with him to be a part of the exhibit. The Unitarian Church in Summit has had a partnership with the Unitarian Church in Transylvania for 10 years.

Mayor Walter Long of Summit and Mayor Anthony A. Williams of Washington, D.C. are honorary chairmen of the event. The art exhibit can be seen from May 30 to June 7. From 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 31, Dance Innovations members will perform at the Women's Club in Maplewood to benefit Rainbows of Summit, which provides counseling to children who are grieving. The "Kids for Kids" performance will include choreographed dancing with flags to Ms. Paslaru's original song, "Our Day, Children's Day." During the weekend of May 31, houses of worship will offer prayers for the children of the world. Although International Children's Day has been celebrated world-wide, starting in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1925, the event has long been neglected in this country, according to organizers.

Under Ms.Paslaru's leadership, the event grew from Summit to include proclamations by San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown in 2001 and 2002 and in Washington by Mayor Anthony Williams in 2002 and 2003. Through the efforts of Mayor Long, proclamations have been issued by more than 20 state governors. Co-Chairs for the celebration are Common Councilwomen Joyce Margie and P. Kelly Hatfield of Summit, Sally Ponzio and Kathy DiFiore of New Providence and Susan McCutcheon Coutts of Dance Innovations in Chatham. Also volunteering are Angela Jelesco of Champaign, III., and Gwen Loiacono of Wilmington, N.C. Ms.Paslaru said Phil Lindabury a trustee at Summit Free Public Library, designed the program for the event, and Millie Cooper and Eric Pryor on behalf of the N.J.Center for Visual Arts offered the facility to display the children's artwork. Activities will be videotaped for the "Human Mosaics" programon TV36 and Comcast Channel 57. Call Ms. Paslaru at "M"Soul Productions at 273-4729 for details.









Photo by Jackie Burkett


International Children's Day coordinator Margareta Paslaru accepts a fourth grader's  rendering of people, parks and rainbows from The Reverend Alpar Kiss at The Unitarian Church in Summit. The local church has a partnership with the Unitarian Church in Transylvania, and Rev. Kiss brought 10 children's drawings to be exhibited during the event.

SUMMIT OBSERVER -Thursday, May 15, 2003


By Joan M.Devlin
Staff Writer

   (...) Brayton Elementary School has been chosen this year to represent Summit in International Children's Day celebration on June 1st. All fourth-graders will have their art on display at New Jersey Center of Visual Arts, and the Brayton School Chorus will perform on May 30 at 10 a.m. on the village Green for Memorial Day ceremonies. They will sing, "Our Day, Children's Day" - the theme song written by Margareta Paslaru of Summit, founder of the event. Weil loves that song, and said it was fun to sing it. He is well aware his poster will be shown virtually worldwide, wherever Children's Day is celebrated.
Opening festivities for International Children's Day will officially start at 3:30 p.m. also on May 30, at the New Jersey Center of Visual Arts, which will showcase children's art both from Brayton School and from the Janney Elementary School in Washington, D.C.- a school named as Summit's 2003 "sister city" this year.
Children's art will also be represented from schools in England, Israel, India and Paslaru's native Romania. Sheila Stone, curator at the New Jersey Center of Visual Arts, is the liaison with two schools out of her
native England. The schools are Heathfield Schools for Girls, London and Berkhamsted Collegiate Preparatory School in Hartfordshire.
  (...) On the actually day, June 1st, New Jersey Secretary of State Regina Thomas will be the special guest as the special program for families and children, offering fun, sports, games and refreshments.
This is the third year International Children's Day has been celebrated in Summit. In 2001, through the efforts of Margareta Paslaru, who heads "M" Soul Productions and produces Cable Channel 36, the first celebration was conducted at Overlook Hospital, with Mayor Walter Long and Council-woman Joyce Margie serving as co-chairpersons.
In 2002, Children's Day was recognized by a Joint Legislative Resolution by the Assembly and state Senate, and the celebration became part of the Congressional Record, through the efforts of U.S. Rep. Mike Ferguson, R-7. That year, San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown issued a proclamation as did Washington, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, naming June 1 as International Children's Day. Since then, more than 20 other state governors have done the same.
Paslaru has always believed in one special day to honor all children. " It has been done in Europe since 1925, begun by the World Conference for the Well Being of Children in that year, held in Geneva, Switzerland,"
said Paslaru. As a Summit resident and mother, she is thrilled it has finally become so important here in Summit also. As a former Romanian actress and singer, she composed both words and music for the signature song, "Our Day, Children's Day" which is a lilting melody, easy for children to learn and sing. There is a CD of the song available, with children singing in 15 different languages. All proceeds from the sale of this CD are and always have been donated to the Music Camp Fund for underprivileged children at the Summit Area Public Foundation. The song also will be performed during the public schools' Memorial Day ceremonies.
(...) In addition of the busy weekend's planned activities, Summit's houses of worship will offer special prayers for the children of the world during that weekend.

L-R: Principal Cheryl Moretz, Co-Chairs Margareta Paslaru
- Sencovici & Councilwoman Kelly Hatfield head up 2003
International Children's Day in Summit

The Summit Collection - January 2003

By Susan Smith

Margareta Paslaru-Sencovici, the champion of June First International Children's Day, has a new co-chair, Councilwoman Kelly Hatfield, who is taking the torch from last year's co-chair, Councilwoman Joyce Margie. Summit's Brayton School, under the leadership of Principal Cheryl Moretz, will be 2003's new torch bearer representing the children of Summit.
Last year Washington School students did a wonderful job performing the official song from the CD "Our Day, Children's Day" at the traditional Memorial Day concert, and creating beautiful works of art were exchanged with the children of San Francisco.
This year Brayton's art teacher Mary Bruns will work with the 4th graders on 2003 International Children's Day poster and prepare them for the second annual art exchange. Already works of art are arriving from children all over the world: these will be displayed at the New Jersey Center for Visual Arts, Summit, where Sheila Stone will curate the show on May 30th. To get involved as a participant, volunteer, or SPONSOR, contact "M" Soul Productions 908-273-4729, or, mpaslaru@comcast.net.
Summit Observer -Thursday, November 14, 2002 (excerpts)

Brayton brings joy to planning project

By Joan Devlin - Staff Writer

Founder of International Children's Day in Summit, resident Marguerita Paslaru is previewing plans for the yearly event, conducted on June 1, and Brayton Elementary School on Tulip Street has been chosen as the lead school in Summit's celebration. Councilwoman P.Kelly Hatfield is co-chairing with Paslaru, and both met recently with Brayton Principal Cheryl Moretz, who is thrilled to have her students involved in this special day for children all over the world. Mayor Walter Long is the leader for this coming event, the third year for Summit's participation. "Fourth-and fifth-graders will be doing a creative art project of their own choosing," said Paslaru, "under the guidance of the art teacher, Mary Bruns."
The song,"Our Day, Children's Day" - words and lyrics by Paslaru - is at the heart of the event, and will be sung again next year by the Brayton School fourth-graders who are involved in the project. (....)
As Paslaru said, "It is always children helping children at the chosen school" The event in Summit come next spring will once again be held at the New Jersey Center for Visual Arts, where all of the children's art work will be on display as it was last year. "In fact, we already know the date; is going to be just before International Children's Day, always June 1st, but on May 30, as it is a weekend," said Paslaru, who brings everything together. There is a liaison with two schools in London, England, through curator of the NJCVA, Sheila Stone, a native of London. There will also be a liaison with a school in Calcutta, India, through Nandini Sen Gupta of Summit. Paslaru, a native of Romania, is also arranging another liaison with a school in Romania, where Children's Day has been celebrated for many years (...)
Brayton School is experiencing severe growing pains and a large renovation project is on the drawing board. Meanwhile, everyone has pitched in and used every available inch of space and they have done so with good spirits, according to Principal Moretz. "That is why this project will be wonderful for our children, knowing they are working with other children in other parts of the world who have many more problems than they do." (...)
There is plenty of time and no pressure is on the children, but is never to early to begin this project, which grew and grew last year, when Washington School got involved with schools from San Francisco with the same theme. The catchy song has been universally loved by the children, and its happy melody has been easy to learn; they will be performing at the end ceremony in May.
Paslaru is also a producer for Cable Channel-36, and she will make a tape of the performance and the final events come Children's Day, as was done last year." It is a day to honor all children, but also a means of helping other children, and connecting with them through art and song," said Paslaru. She hopes it will become a day like Mother's Day or Father's Day throughout America, as it is in so many other countries. This will be the third celebration here in Summit in 2003, and each year it grows from the preceding year. Councilwoman Joyce Margie was co-chair last year, and both she and current chair, Hatfield, fervently believe in the concept.

The Summit Collection - July 2002

Opening Ceremony for International Children's Day

By Susan Smith

From left: Joyce Margie, John Maher, Jack Dunne, Walter D. Long and Margareta Paslaru

The opening ceremonies at the Children's Art Exchange and Show at the New Jersey Center for Visual Arts, kicked off the June 1st. festivities. Councilwoman Joyce Margie and Madison, NJ's Mayor, Jack Dunn, look on while Summit's Mayor Walter D. Long announces that 27 Proclamations were received officially declaring June 1st International Children's Day.    The overwhelming response was due solely to the effort of Mayor Long. He sent letters spreading the June 1st spirit to over 50 states, countries and municipalities. His enthusiasm, inspired by Margarita Paslaru-Sencovici, convinced half of the country's governors to declare and set aside this special day for children. Next year goal is to celebrate with the other half of the country and to have President Bush make this a national holiday! With the team of Long and Paslaru, how can he refuse?

Summit News - Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Celebrate the children: 

On Saturday, June 1st, the Summit YMCA hosted a Hot Shots event in celebration of International Children's Day. 
There to observe and participate were, from left, Summit YMCA executive director Bruce Black, Summit International Children's Day co-chairs Margareta Paslaru-Sencovici and Summit Councilwoman Joyce D. Margie, Congressman Mike Ferguson and YMCA member Jim Baxley. 

The Independent Press -Wednesday, May 29, 2002

Paslaru composes the song, CD celebrates children's Day 

SUMMIT - Mayor Walter Long has declared June 1st, International Children's Day in the city as part  of a nationwide campaign to recognize the holiday, which is already celebrated in about 25 countries. Event co-chairs and city residents Margareta Paslaru and Common Councilwoman Joyce Margie are finalizing details for the celebration of International Children's Day in Summit. An art show, a music CD, a sport event, and Memorial Day tribute on the Village Green are on the agenda.

(...) From 1 to 2 p.m. on June 1st, the Summit Free Public Library will conduct a story hour featuring multi cultural folk tales, followed by a mini-concert of songs from the new CD, "Our Day, Children's Day". Congressman Michael Ferguson is schedule to appear. Mrs. Paslaru composed the title song on this CD, "Our Day, Children's Day", which was recorded by the fifth graders at Washington School. The Summit CD also includes a number of tradition children's songs from around the world sung in the native language of the countries of origin by Summit children.

(...) "The CD is like a tour around the world through the voices of children," said Ms. Paslaru, who produced the album, and notes support from Washington School Principal Carol Friend: Washington School music teacher Marilyn Casale-Lee; art teacher Carolyn Mozes, who assisted the Washington School fifth graders in designing the CD cover; talent coordinator Lai Loh; and narrator Scott Caffrey. "This wonderful volunteers were indispensable in making the CD a reality," said Ms. Paslaru.

The CD is on sale in Scotti's record shops in Summit, Madison, Gillette and Morristown for $10 each.
All proceeds from the sale of the CD are being donated through the Summit Area Public Foundation to the "Music Camp Fund" for underprivileged children. All of the activities associated with the Children's Day campaign are being video documented by Ms. Paslaru for inclusion in a TV36 cable feature, "Human Mosaics".

SUMMIT HERALD - Saturday, May 25-2002

Mayor proclaims International Children's Day in Summit

SUMMIT- Common Council's Tuesday, May 21, meeting started on a bright note when students from Washington School sang a song written by Margarita Paslaru commemorating International Children's Day on June 1st. "Raise your flag right now," the children sang, with flags flying and lyrics identifying countries around the world. Mayor Walter Long introduced Summit's Ms. Paslaru who, he said, came to him with an idea two years ago to promote International Children's Day in the United States. "It's recognized throughout the world," he said, "but not in the U.S."
Summit's mayor joined forces with his San Francisco counterpart, Willy Brown, of San Francisco, and children from Washington School have exchanged artwork with a San Francisco elementary school. The idea has grown, Mayor Long said, with governors from Maryland, Utah, Michigan, Nebraska and other states as well as New Jersey, setting aside the date.
The children's artwork will be displayed at the New Jersey Center for Visual Arts on Elm Street from May 28 to June 1st. A reception on Friday, May 31, is expected to be attended by senator Jon Corzine and Congressman Mike Ferguson, Mayor Long said. "You wouldn't believe the work she's done," the mayor said of Ms.Paslaru's efforts, "She flew to San Francisco and has been in touch with officials in Austria and other countries."

"SUMMIT OBSERVER" Thursday, April 11, 2002

Standing on the steps of City Hall in San Francisco Mayor Willie L. Brown Jr., Summit resident Margareta Paslaru and fifth-graders from San Francisco's Tenderloin School. Students from both the Tenderloin School and Washington School are helping Paslaru make June 1st International Children's Day

With Music, Summit resident bridges gap between east and west (excerpts)

By Joan M. Devlin

Always ready to portray talent in others, especially children, Summit resident and producer at Channel 36 television Margareta Paslaru downplayed her own role in two recent honors she has received. "If it were nor for the children and their natural talent, I could not have done it," she insisted.
What she did was unite fifth graders from coast-to-coast in film:fifth-graders at
Tenderloin School in San Francisco and fifth-graders at Summit Middle School in Summit in sharing music and art for International Children's Day. With her background as a performing artist in movies and television in her native Romania , Paslaru, a singer, musician and composer, wrote words and music to a lilting melody called "Our Day, Children's Day" which capture the children from both coasts. The fifth- graders from Washington School performed the song, in voice and instrument, at a recent school board meeting and made a big hit. They received much applause, but Paslaru was sick that night and not there to hear their tribute to her music.
The fifths-graders have exchanged art-work with the children at the
San Francisco school, who also sang and performed the music. Both schools are helping Paslaru in making June 1st their own special day. "We have Mother's Day;we have Father's Day," reasoned Paslaru," why not a Children's Day?" Her logic makes sense; the day has been celebrated all over Europe for many years. Co-Chairperson of Summit 's Children's Day, Councilwoman Joyce Margie, through a mutual friend, connected Paslaru with San Francisco . (.....) Why San Francisco ? "Because it was actually started there in 1925, but somehow the celebration died out: now, Mayor Brown, together with Summit Mayor Walter Long, declared June 1st as International Children's Day there and here," said Paslaru. The two mayors are honorary  chairmen of the day in their respective cities, while in Summit , Paslaru and Margie are co-chairpersons..
But there is more. Paslaru was named one of 10 "Woman of Excellence" of Women in
Union County , honored for her work in arts and humanities, and for promoting International Children's Day here and through the world. At a recent diner she was presented with a plaque of recognition from the Board of Chosen Freeholders of Union County and a citation from the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey . The citation read, "For the Status of Women's Excellence Award in the field of Arts and Humanities."
Although she never mentions it, a mother herself, she has always been active in children's causes. She volunteers at
Overlook Hospital to read stories to the smaller patients, and with her accent and inflections, keeps them spellbound, according to the hospital staff.
She has recorded a production of children performing, called "The Human Mosaics: Preparing for International Children's Day 2002," which came out so well with the natural enthusiasm of children from all backgrounds, is now a CD available at Scotti's Record Stores in the area. All proceeds go to a music camp fund to provide music training for needy inner-city children. (....)
As for her music, "Our Day, Children's Day," has caught on. "We are the future - think about each otherright now," say the lyrics. In these times, the simple melody and message seem especially meaningful. Paslaru said, "I will really be happy when Children's Day -June 1st - is marked on every calendar in
America , like it is in Europe , and we start by having it in our hearts."


International Children's Day UPDATE:

By Susan Smith

Margareta Paslaru, wearing her TV36 producer's hat, has just returned from San Francisco, whereshe filmed Mayor Willie Lewis Brown, Jr. and the exchange of art from San Francisco's Tenderloin School's 5th graders, to Summit's Washington School's 5th graders, a by product of last year's International Children's Day held in both Summit and San Francisco's children, created in various mediums, depicts peace, flowers and friendship, and will be on display in June at The New Jersey
Center for Visual Arts in Summit. The film footage Margareta came away with will air during April on TV36 & Comcast, on Human Mosaics. This next piece of the continuing series will be titled "Summit-San Francisco: A Bridge of Friendship." 
Mayor Brown again, in honor and appreciation of the children of the world, proclaimed June 1st, 2002 as International Children's Day in his City as has Mayor Walter Long of Summit.  Margareta, co-chair of International Children's Day, presented Mayor Brown with a gift of art from Carol Friend, principal of Washington School. The drawing shows a sea of multiracial children's faces.
This was a project done by the Washington 5th graders. Along with that, a Summit Centennial baseball cap and a book on the history of Summit were presented to Mayor Brown on behalf of Mayor Long. June 1st events are now being finalized and will be made public in May. Anyone wanting to be involved please contact Margareta Paslaru (908 )273-4729 or, mpaslaru@comcast.net

The highlights of this year's event will be the release of the CD featuring Washington School's fifth graders singing the title song "Our Day, Children's Day" (Music/Lyrics: Margareta Paslaru).

The remaining 20 songs are sung by local Summit children in fifteen languages! With the jachet completed, the CD is waiting to fill the shelves of local businesses as well as all of Scotti's Record Shops, with all of the proceeds going to "The Music Camp Fund" at the Summit Public Foundation.This fund has been set up to provide assistance for needy children who wish to attend the camp.

Education Update - Winter 2002
Editor: Catherine Fernandez

Washington School students help promote International Children's Day

We're all familiar with Mother's Day and Father's Day, but how many of us celebrate Children's Day? If a local TV producer, the mayor of Summit, and the fifth graders of Washington School are successful in their efforts, International Children's Day will be added to every America's Calendar.
Margareta Paslaru, a TV producer and local resident, fondly recalls celebrating International Children's Day in her native Roumania. The day is observed in about 25 countries, but has never been officially celebrated in the U.S. Ms. Paslaru is spearheading a campaign to have the day recognized nationally and has enlisted the aid of Washington School's fifth graders in promoting the cause.
Ms. Paslaru composed "Our Day, Children's Day," as a theme song for her campaign. (.....)
As a further inspiration for her campaign Ms. Paslaru conceived of producing a CD featuring "Our Day, Children's Day" as its centerpiece. With Washington School as the host for 2002 Memorial Day ceremony, the Washington fifth graders were invited to be the recording artists for the song. They will also sing it at the ceremony, which is scheduled for May 23 at 10 a.m.
   "The children were so enthusiastic at the prospect of recording the song, " said Washington School
principal Carol Friend. "It was really a unique opportunity they were being offered."Under the direction Washington School's music teacher, Marilyn Casale-Lee, the students began rehearsing "Our Day, Children's Day" for the recording. Ms.Paslaru videotaped the rehearsals and the result is a TV-36 program entitled "Human Mosaics: Preparing for International Children's Day 2002," which will air on Tuesdays throughout February at 7 p.m.
Before the holidays, the students recorded the CD, which will be available at all Scotti's Records Stores in the area. Proceeds from the CD will be donated to a music camp fund that will provide assistance for music training for needy inner city children.

                                                         Support on both coasts

   Summit Mayor Walter Long has shown his support for the effort by declaring June 1st as "International Children's Day" in Summit. And the campaign has already reached the west coast, where San Francisco Mayor Willie L. Brown Jr. has joined the cause. The two mayors are honorary chairs of the International Children's Day Committee, based in Summit and chaired by Ms.Paslaru and Common Council member Joyce Margie.
   A student art exchange between the Washington fifth graders and students from San Francisco is planned for exhibit at the New Jersey Center for Visual Arts in Summit in the spring.

"The Summit Collection" - January 2002

A committee, under the leadership of Mayor Walter Long, is busy making plans for Summit's second annual International Children's Day on June 1st. The highlights of this year's events will be the release of a new children CD featuring our own Washington School's fifth graders singing "Our Day, Children's Day". The CD will be available at all the Scotti's Record Store locations with all proceeds going to "The Music Camp Fund", at the Summit Area Public Foundation, set up to provide assistance for a music camp for needy children.
Mayor Long and Mayor Willie Brown Jr. of San Francisco are co-chairing the International Children's partnership in an art exchange between children at Washington School, and children in San Francisco. Keep your eyes open for events being planned at the Summit Library, the NJ Center for Visual Arts, and the YMCA. 
   The committee invites everyone who wants to be involve to contact Margareta Paslaru at:
 "M"Soul Productions (908)273-4729 or mpaslaru@home.com
Honorary Chairs: Mayor Walter Long & Mayor Willie L.Brown, Jr.
Co-Chairs: Joyce D.Margie & Margareta Paslaru.

The Star Ledger - Thursday, June 14, 2001

Children's Day makes its U.S. debut in Summit

By Patty Everett

   Margareta Paslaru-Sencovici didn't grow up with the question on her lips that millions of children ask each year around Mother's Day or Father's Day:"Why isn't there a Children's Day?" So she never heard the pat answer that has passed from generation to generation:"Because every day is Children's Day."
   Instead, the Summit resident heard songs in the streets of her native Romania on June 1st - the day that there, and in other parts of the world, is officially known and celebrated as International Children's Day. "This was a very joyful and simple kind of celebration,"Paslaru said. "There was a ballon parade, songs and dances and arts and sports." In short, is was a celebration akin to that of a child's birthday party - similar, in fact, to two recent events she was the impetus behind at Overlook Hospital in Summit. Althogh the day is celebrated in roughly 25 countries, it's "a day that is missing from the American calendar," said Paslaru, who aims to get the day officially recognized on the national level. Locally, Paslaru has obtained proclamations from acting Gov.Donald DiFrancesco naming June 1st International Children's Day in New Jersey as well as from Summit Mayor Walter Long. The latter was on hand for a party at Overlook's day-care center May 31. The next day, there was an other party for patients in the hospital's Pediatric Activitty Center. "I think it's a wonderful idea" said Christine Manning, a child life specialist in the Pediatric Activitiey Center. Manning was on deck both days to help set up the parties, which included food, a clown, a magic show, face-painting, games, prizes and giveaways.
   (...) A registered nurse in the hospital's pediatric unit, Palmarozzo agreed that a special day for children was a "neat idea," despite having been told numerous times by her mother that every day was Children's Day. Lisa Ciarrocca, child life manager for Atlantic Health System -of which Overlook and Morristown Memorial Hospital are a part - said she will honor the day every year in all of Atlantic's pediatrics units. Simultaneous with with the June 1st event, Morristown Memorial's child life program was holding its own gala to mark the day, said Coarrocca, who brought along her daughter, 21 month old Callie, to join the festivities.

The parties at Overlook were among a number of events planned around International Children's Day. One of them, a used musical instrument drive benefiting children from the Kids Kafes of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, was the brainchild of Summit Councilwoman Joyce Margie, Paslaru said. "I started composing a special song for June 1, and next year it will be performed by children who received the musical instruments," Paslaru said. "All of this is going to be recorded on a CD, and the monies will go to a special Children's Day music camp for the needy." Scotti's music store has promised to launch the CD in its four stores in Summit, Gillette, Morristown and Madison. In addition, the Romanian-born actress and pop star is using her expertise as a producer/director for Channel 36 to promote the day. Footage she has taken for a documentary that features children from 12 New Jersey localities will be used as the "archives"of the June 1 International Children's Day in the United States, she said. During her efforts to reach out to all 50 states, Paslaru has received feedback from people in Omaha, Nebraska and Portland, Oregon who have planned events for the day. In San Francisco - where the day had its roots in 1929 - Mayor Willie Lewis Brown Jr. has proclaimed June 1, 2001, as International Children's Day. Paslaru said she dreams that marking the day and bringing more attention to the children might help to avoid the senseless violence now taking place across the country. "
I trully believe that the way we are raising them today is the same way they are going to lead us tomorrow. I truly believe that they are a reflection of us...and if things go wrong, we have to wonder why."

The Summit Collection- July 2001

            International Children's Day Is Official in Summit!

By Susan Smith

"Whereas, this holiday should be recognized by everyone, regardless of their political affiliation, religious preference, organization membership, or school, and "Whereas, now more then ever, when violence and tragic events in schools are taking place with increased frequency, we should all reflect about ourselves and about our children.
Now, therefore, I, Walter D.Long, Mayor of the City of Summit, do here proclaim June 1, 2001, as "INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN'S DAY" in the City of Summit and ask all citizen to take a moment to remember the children and consider them as we go about our daily activities and present ourselves as good role models."

L-R:Karen Honold, Scout Leader, with Girl Scouts from Troop 135 Cub Scouts from Pack 360, Gail Callahan, Gail Everling, Mayor Walter Long, Joyce Margie, and Joanne Tedesco-Kloud join Margareta Paslaru-Sencovici at the microphone as she accepts the Mayor's Proclamation for International Children's Day in Summit.

June 1st-International Children's Day-was celebrated in Summit at a party hosted by Overlook Hospital and Lisa Ciarrocca, child life manager for Atlantic Health System, on May 31st in their day-care center and on June 1st, in the Pediatric Activity Center.
As reported in our May issue, Summit's Margareta Paslaru-Sencovici, TV36 director, recording artist, and mother, has been working for ten years to bring equal attention to all the children by celebrating them and their spirit on June 1st. All her dedication, persistence and hard work has finally paid off! Proclamations have been signed by Mayor Walter Long, as well as Mayor Willie Brown Jr.of San Francisco, where this day was first celebrated in the U.S.in 1929, and acting Gov.Donald DiFrancesco, naming International Children's Day as a day to be celebrated on June 1 in their respective communities.Margareta is working hard to  get this day recognized on a national level. Rumor has it there may be some progress toward this end even as we speak! We will keep you posted.
The thrilling thing about Paslaru-Sencovici's efforts is that something wonderful and tangible and on-going has come out of it. In addition to the official day of observance, Summit councilwoman Joyce Margie, who has been championing Paslaru-Sencovici's dream. has spearheaded a "gently used"
musical instrument drive for the needy children. Burgdorff Realtors Joanne Tedesco-Kloud arranged for their Springfield Ave.location to be a drop off spot, and John W.Cooper of Summit Area Public Foundation has established a fund to sponsor a June 1st Music Camp for the needy kids."The Summit Ladies" (weekly volunteers at the Community Food Bank of NJ)will  collect the instruments from Burgdorff and take them to the Community Food Bank to be dispersed to needy children. It is Margareta's hope to complete a special song she is composing for International Children's Day, then have the children practice  on the instruments, and hopefully record and produce a CD that will be available for purchase by December, 2001!.The net profit from the sale of this recording effort will go towards the music camp. Scotti's Record Shop has promised to be part of the launch by promoting it in their 5 locations!

Summit should be proud of the selfless efforts of this special woman-a woman with passion and love and desire to make a difference in the way we raise our children. Her dream is to put an end to the senseless violence we heard and read about in this country on practically a daily basis. "I truly believe that the way we are raising our children today is the way they will lead us tomorrow"

Mark your calendars now for June 1st International Children's Day 2002! We will keep you abreast of the planned activities as they evolve. To become involved contact "M" Soul Productions, 908-273-4729, www.margareta.com

Summit Observer –Thursday, April 5, 2001

                                            Resident seeks to celebrate children

                                                                      By Joan M. Devlin
Staff Writer

Her Dream is to honor children: all children everywhere, with an established International Children’s Day, and she has worked for years to make the dream a reality. Summit resident Margareta Paslaru, Romanian-born entertainer and current head of “M” Soul Productions, wants June 1 of every year to be Children’s Day, set aside in the same way that Mother’s Day and Father’s Day observed. “We need to bring more people into participation for the International Children’s Day of June 1st because it has already been set aside by many other countries all around the world,” said Paslaru. She is not just wishing for this: she is working through her own company and also with Arlene Sullivan and Mary Ann Martello of Changing Images Art Foundations Inc., who as a committee will reach out to all 50 states to involve them in the day of recognition. Paslaru also is known in Summit as the director/producer of TV-36, which covers  Common Council meetings among many other events in the City of Summit. She and Sullivan and Martello will combine creative talents in the promotion. Paslaru loves to read stories to children, and volunteers at Overlook Hospital once a week to do just that, to make sick children smile. She acts out the stories as she reads, using her backround as an actress/singer in Romania.” Children are the same all over; they love this.”

 (……) In 1996, Paslaru received an honorary award and membership to UNICEF for her promotion of music and art for the protection of children. Her philosophy is simple. ”When we are young, we struggle to make a name for ourselves: becoming mature, we must use the name in helping others.”

(…….)She insists, however, that this promotion of an International Children’s Day does not involve money; only recognition.  She is creating a series of documentaries about International Children’s Day to begin airing this spring, and is writing the music for a special children’s song, inspired by Sullivan’s children’s book entitled ‘The Journey of Hanna Heart,” and Sullivan is also creating a mural.

(……) “However, the main object of our committee is to gain support from people throughout the United States so that we can add our country to the expanding list of those countries who already celebrate June 1 as Children’s Day,” said Paslaru. She encourages ideas and events that others may create. She and her associates have contacted the school boards and everyone is asked to join in special events on that day. She has requested Summit Mayor Walter Long to proclaim June as Children’s Month, which he has promised to do at the 17 April  Common Council meeting. For information about ways to participate in the activities, or to bring your own ideas to share, call Paslaru at 273-4729 .

Independent Press – April 18, 2001

Paslaru helps organize Children’s Day 

 By Timothy Jecko

   AREA – Margareta Paslaru has a knack for making news. Perhaps she was born with it. This time, she’s taking on Alaska, Hawaii and all the contiguous 48 states as she attempt to bring us into line with more than 25 countries already observing the June 1st celebration of International Children’s Day. Ms. Paslaru, a Summit resident for 18 years, is a formidable force when it comes to stirring up excitement in local or international media. Born in Romania, she became  a pop music star as a young woman, successful as a singer, songwriter, and lyricist in 13 languages. The den of her deceptively tranquil home overflows with photographs, citations, posters, clippings, scrapbooks and other mementos of her impressive career. One can imagine the energy which she must have generated in those days. To anyone near her colleagues race to keep up with her production schedule, her driven and ambition are sometimes overwhelming, certainly anything but diminished. “When we are young” she admits, ”we struggle to make a name for ourselves. Becoming mature, we must use the name in helping others.” No one, it seems, is immune to her rapid-fire, all-encompassing enthusiasm. “Nobody I have spoken with knows about the Children’s Day celebrations , ”she said recently, “or the fact that is started in the United States, in 1925. On June 1st of this year, in Monterey Heights area of San Francisco, Wang Yunxiang, the Chinese  consul general, gathered 60 former Chinese orphans and their families to celebrate one of China’s most popular holiday. That same year, perhaps coincidentally, representatives from 54 countries attended the World Conference for the Well Being of Children in Geneva, Switzerland, and passed the Geneva Declaration protecting children. ” It is from these events that the international observance evolved,” she said, “and its beginnings are described in ‘A Children’s Day Gift,’ by Evelyne McNamara. I have been working for 10 years to bring Children’s Day to USA,” she continued. “It seems natural to me; I grew up with it.” Ms. Paslaru, the founder and entire staff of her umbrella organization, “M” Soul Productions, is also the creator and resident director, producer, editor, crew, camerawoman, prompter and on camera spokesperson on the series “Human Mosaics” on cable station TV-36. In it, she showcases the importance of local artistic, cultural and humanitarian pursuits  Not surprisingly, she’s using her show  to promote International Children’s Day in the USA, her latest project. Her efforts are gathering steam, and for this project she has help, in Arlene R.B. Sullivan and Mary Anne Martello of Changing Images Art Foundation, Inc. The goal of Changing Images is to bring comfort to people, young and old, who are in traditional institutional settings, such as hospitals. ”Through interactive art activities with patients and volunteers,” says Ms. Sullivan, “we are able to transform bleak empty walls into colorful surroundings, leaving each facility with professional-looking murals that they have helped create.” The idea of involving everyone-patients, residents, family members, medical staff, volunteers-is” medicine for the soul”. “They are painting beautiful murals for Children’s Day,” says Ms. Paslaru of her partner’s efforts, “with children from different schools,” including the Cedar Hill Elementary School in Towaco, and Bayley-Ellard High School in Madison, whose work will be exchanged with a mural from a hospital in Bucharest.
   In addition, Ms. Paslaru is composing a special children’s song for next year’s celebration dedicated to
   June 1st. The CD containing the song will be on sale at all Scotti’s Record Shops, with proceeds donated to a special fund to help send less fortunate children to a summer camp. “People from all parts of the country are invited to join in a simultaneous spirit-of-solidarity  celebration of children, ”says Ms. Paslaru. “The activities need not be extravagant; it could be something as simple as a song, a dance, a sport activity , or volunteers reading to children in a library or a hospital. It could be activities that are already on the calendar, which might be re-scheduled, or at least dedicated to the weekend of June 1st.”

"The Summit Collection" 
May 7, 2001

By Susan Smith

   If you see pink and blue balloons outside the merchant's stores in Summit during the first week in June, it is not because the stork is making a guest appearance! It is Summit celebrating International Children's Day.Romanian-born singer, composer and 18-year Summit resident, Margareta Paslaru-Sencovici has been trying to promote International Children's Day in the USA for years. In over 25 countries, it is observed on June 1st. Margareta remembers balloons parades as a child in her country, and with the help of Arlene Sullivan of Changing Images Art Foundations, Inc. is getting the ball rolling here by inviting all the governors to support this request to make June 1st an official holiday. Many have jumped on the bandwagon, including Summit's mayor Walter Long who declared that June 1st would be set aside in Summit for International Children's Day. The kick off ceremony will be held at Overlook Hospital's day care center on May 31. Pediatric Director Lisa Ciarrocca, children, patients, staff, Margareta Paslaru-Sencovici, councilwoman Joyce Margie, and Mayor Long will sing, read poetry and paint to celebrate the spirit of children.
   Don't miss "M"Soul Production's (Paslaru-Sencovici's company) film documentaries, "Human Mosaics" and "Summit's Rhapsody," on TV-36 and 57, highlighting children's activities performed all over New Jersey, in honor of International Children's Day.

Thursday, May 31 – 2001 “Summit Observer”

Drive gives needy children the gift of music

By Joan M. Devlin - Staff Writer

“We must give them food for their spirit as well as food for their  stomachs, as music heals: it is a wonderful outlet for troubles and anxieties.” –

Margareta Paslaru

   The Used Musical Instruments Drive is just one part of all the special events planned to celebrate International Children’s Day on Friday.
   Margareta Paslaru, producer/ director of Channel 36, had the idea of giving needy children musical instruments, along with the other events she is spearheading on Children’s Day. Mayor Walter Long made in official at the last Common Council meeting when he actually declared June 1st “International Children’s Day in Summit”
   “We are asking everyone in Summit to go into their attics, store rooms and closets to find a used musical instrument  they no longer use or play, but which would bring great joy to a child who can never afford to buy an instrument, ”said Paslaru. The gift of music will feed the hearts of children who are needy, and who are cared for through the Children’s Division of the Community Food Bank of New Jersey in Hillside.
   (…) The used musical instruments of all kinds will be donated and distributed through the Kids’ Cafes, and after school program for inner city children. A group of Food Bank volunteers will pick up the instruments  each week and take  them down to the  Food Bank  in  Hillside; among them Councilwoman Joyce Margie who volunteers at the Community Food Bank every Friday . Paslaru, who was an actress/performer in her native Romania, and still performs on occasion will be donating her time and talent to work with the children in the Kids Café program to help them develop their musical abilities.
    (….) Each café feeds a hot nutrition evening meal five days a week at absolutely no cost,” said Meara  Nigro, communication director at Community Food Bank.
  (….) Now, beginning in one of the Newark sites, they also will be able to receive and learn to use musical instruments. Paslaru will be there to personally instruct, help and encourage them. ”It will be light music; whatever they are comfortable with and now we have the instruments to make a band, and study, and experience the joy that music can bring"” Transporting the instruments once they are collected at the various locations will be handled by a group of Community Food Bank volunteers affectionately called “The Summit Ladies,” because they are always at the center in Hillside on Fridays. In adition to Margie, there is Pat Steadman, Gail Callahan and Mona Baldwin.
   Everyone is sharing Paslaru’s enthusiasm on the project, including Board of Education President David Bomgaars who came to tell them that children in all grades took memos home asking parents to send them back with used musical instruments they no longer need. ”In fact, I will bring in my own old set of drums,” said Boomgaars.
   “There is a strong connection between students who participate in music and their academic achivement”.                                                 (Front page selections)

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